To the congressman who doesn’t think that men should have to pay for prenatal care

Congressman John Shimkus speaking at the Southern Illinois Levee Simmit

Hey there, John Shimkus. Nice surname, by the way. It’s fun to say. Shimkus. Shimkus. Shimkus. It just kind of gets all stuck behind your teeth, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I hear that you don’t support the Affordable Care Act, primarily because it requires all healthcare plans to cover maternity services.

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee debate about Republican amendments to the Affordable Care Act, you had the following conversation with Democrat Mike Doyle.

Doyle: “What mandate in the Obamacare bill does he take issue with?”

You: “What about men having to purchase prenatal care? I’m just…is that not correct? And should they?”

Yes, they should. And here’s why.

Pregnancy is not only a women’s thing.

By definition, pregnancy requires male participation. You have three kids. I presume you played some part in making them. If men can be responsible for getting a woman pregnant, they should also be responsible for helping to pay for her maternity care.

Health insurance works by pooling risks.

The healthy subsidize the sick. No one is going to need all healthcare services all the time, but we’ll all need healthcare at some point. So a woman might need expensive maternity services this year, but next year you might need to be treated for a heart attack. (Because you’re a middle-aged man, and you’re much more likely to have a heart attack than a woman of childbearing age.)

We take turns. That’s what makes the system work. I pay for your prostate exam, you pay for my pap smear. Quid pro quo, Shimkus.

You like women, right?

You have a wife. You have a mother. You may have aunts, sisters and female friends. I’m going to assume that you care about them, respect them, and believe that they deserve fair and equitable treatment. That means not forcing them to purchase expensive maternity-inclusive insurance plans created by companies that are eager to take advantage of women who have the audacity to want to have a family.

Men and women are in the baby-making business together. It’s time that you and your “but a man can’t deliver a baby” politician pals start recognising that.

Top image © US Army Corps of Engineers under the Creative Commons license

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19 Comment

  1. I totally agree with everything you have said, certainly makes sense to me#eatsleepblogrt@_karendennis

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Thanks! It just doesn’t make sense to me that men can be involved in creating a pregnancy and then think they shouldn’t have to pay for it.

  2. It’s actually just completely ridiculous that a man in public office could say such a thing. I just don’t understand how Americans don’t understand the concept of sharing health care in the way you’ve described this. There is too much individualism and downright selfishness, which serves no one. A fantastic and eloquent post, as usual. Thank you for linking to #EatSleepBlogRT. Hope you can join again next week.

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I don’t get it either – I help you now, you help me later. That’s how health insurance works. What’s the issue?

  3. Sometimes I wonder how some men can be some blind and ignorant. It makes me feel a little sick. Pen x #EatSleepBlogRT

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      America seems to have a lot of male politicians who think they have the right to make decisions about women’s healthcare. It’s pretty terrible.

  4. Fantastic post ! I’m fast becoming a total fangirl of your blog! #EatSleepBlogRT

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Haha – thanks!

  5. Women should refuse to pay for erectile dysfunction treatments! This congressman is ridiculous. #EatSleepBlogRT

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Exactly! If our health insurance has to cover erectile dysfunction, then theirs has to cover maternity services.

  6. #eatsleepblogrt yes to everything you wrote, it mocks equality. Silly man was obviously never born himself 😉

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Haha – no, of course he was never born himself. Or became a parent himself. Uggghhhh.

  7. Isn’t it bizarre that people like Shimkus can be elected to office, the voice if the people… I do hope not! What next..Trump for President…oh boo that’s already happened! #dreamteam

  8. Ugh why are people such idiots sometimes?! OBVIOUSLY men should pay towards prenatal care. I love your political posts, you always get it spot on! #DreamTeam

  9. Wow, what a ridiculous man. You make good points here! #DreamTeam

  10. Too blimmin right! Why on earth should maternity services be excluded – because us womenfolk just want to go off making babies to keep ourselves entertained apparently? I cannot believe that it would even be an issue? Very well said – love this! Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

  11. There are so many douschebags in congress now, its almost impossible to keep up with all the stupid stuff that they say. Who votes for these guys? #familyfun

  12. I absolutely cannot understand attitudes like that. I also can’t understand how someone can marry someone with that attitude. I’m all for personal opinion, but I do not agree with preventing equality because you don’t agree with something. It’s depressing and I didn’t think as a society we’d evolved enough to already be regressing…. #FamilyFun

  13. I read this in the week and it was certainly an eye opener. Pretty dismal state of affairs for such a big, rich and supposedly forward thinking country eh. Thank you for joining us at #familyfun

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